EdPlace's Year 2 Home Learning English Lesson: Comprehension

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Get them started on the lesson below and then jump into our teacher-created activities to practice what they've learnt. We've recommended five to ensure they feel secure in their knowledge - 5-a-day helps keeps the learning loss at bay (or so we think!).

Are they keen to start practising straight away? Head to the bottom of the page to find the activities. 

Now...onto the lesson!

Key Stage 1 Statutory Requirements for English 
Year 2 students should be able to understand the books they can read accurately and fluently by: drawing on what they already know or on background information and vocabulary; answering and asking questions; making inferences on the basis of what is being said and done; predicting what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far.

What is comprehension?

The Year 2 curriculum has a large focus on reading, which is split into two areas – word reading and comprehension. There is a range of different objectives within the comprehension part of the curriculum, most of which are assessed through reading comprehension questions or test papers. This article will explain the five types of question you’re likely to come across in Year 2, and give you some top tips of how to answer them! We're sure that if you follow this article through, your child will be able to:

1) Understand that there are different types of questions and know what to look out for

2) Apply their understanding of the text to answer a range of questions

3) Apply their answers using evidence from the text.


Step 1: What should your child already know?

The comprehension focus in Year 1 concerns answering simple questions and discussing favourite books, characters and words/phrases. We now need to move onto looking at the different types of questions that can be asked, and the most effective way of finding the answers.

In younger year groups, comprehension is often practised verbally, but as children move into Year 2, they are expected to be able to write their answers in full sentences.


Step 2 - Vocabulary check!

Before we move on, we should check the understanding of some of these key terms that will come up throughout this lesson:

Comprehension - To comprehend something means to understand it. So, we are working on how we show our understanding of something that we have read.
Evidence - When we answer questions about what we’ve been reading, we need to prove that our answers are correct and make sense. In many answers, we need to give some sort of evidence or proof as to why we think that – which can usually just be by taking some words or phrases from the text!


Step 3 - What are the different question types?

There are different types of questions that we need to be confident in answering. Most questions fall under one of five categories – retrieval, vocabulary, inference, sequencing and prediction. Let’s have a look at a short passage of text with some comprehension questions, and think about how we can attempt to answer them. 

Sophie was walking home from school when, suddenly, she saw a terrifying, huge creature standing in her way. She jumped backwards, turned and started to run away as fast as her legs would take her. Without stopping to look over her shoulder, she raced around the corner, past the sweet shop and into her Grandma’s garden. She flew through the front door, slammed it shut, and peered through the window to see if she had been followed. Just as she thought she was safe, she heard a loud thud and a crash and then…silence. 

1) Where was Sophie walking home from?

This is a retrieval question. It needs us to look into the text for some information – you could use keywords to help you know where to look in the text, like ‘walking home’. 

Answer: Sophie was walking home from school. 

2) Find and copy a word that means the same as big.

This is a vocabulary question. Scan through the text and look for a word with similar meaning. The important part here is to copy the exact word or phrase. 

Answer: Huge

3) Why do you think Sophie ran away so quickly?

This is an inference question. These are often the trickiest type to answer as the answer isn’t directly in the text but instead, it’s about what you think about something, based on the information you have. There isn’t usually 1 correct answer, but a few that could be correct. 

Answer: Answers that link to the text in some way would be considered correct here, so something like ‘because she saw a scary looking creature’ or ‘because the creature was terrifying and huge’ or ‘because she was scared’. 

What wouldn’t be correct would be ‘because she was a fast runner’ or ‘because she had homework to do’ because these ideas have not used information from the text.

4) Write the following statements in the correct order that they happened:

- Sophie ran into her Grandma’s house

- Sophie saw a terrifying creature

- Sophie ran past the sweet shop

This is a sequencing question. It is checking that you understand the order events have happened in. Sometimes you will be asked to rewrite the statements like this, and other times to put numbers next to each statement in order. To help you, you could look at the text, underline the events that you’re being asked to order, and then you can clearly see which comes first. 


- Sophie saw a terrifying creature

- Sophie ran past the sweet shop

- Sophie ran into her Grandma’s house

5) What do you think Sophie does next?

This is a prediction question. A bit like inference, there isn’t one correct answer you can give, but you need to use what you already know about the story and characters to give a sensible prediction. 

Answer: Most answers that show understanding of the story would be considered correct. For example; ‘Sophie goes outside and sees the creature lying on the road’ (because this links to the big sound and then silence) or ‘Sophie calls out to her Grandma for help’ (we know she is in her Grandma’s house and she is scared so may need help). 

What wouldn’t be correct is ‘Sophie makes herself some toast’ because although this could be something she does, it doesn’t follow on from the suspense that’s been building in the story. 

Top Tip! Did you notice how all the answers were written in full sentences? It’s a good habit to get into as this will be required as children move into Key Stage 2!


Step 4 - Putting it into practise

So, now we know what to look out for, let’s have a go at answering some questions about this text. Answers are at the bottom!

Farmer Ben had a loyal sheepdog, Max, who followed him everywhere he went. One morning, they went onto the field as usual but there were no sheep! Farmer Ben couldn’t work out what had happened until he spotted a hole in the fence – they must have escaped! They hopped onto the yellow, muddy and noisy tractor and sped through the field in search of the missing sheep. Suddenly, Max started barking loudly so Ben stopped the tractor and looked into the distance. He couldn’t believe what he saw…

1) How did the sheep leave the farm?

2) Put the following events in the correct order:

They hopped onto the tractor. 

Max started barking.

Farmer Ben realised the sheep were gone. 

3) What three words were used to describe Farmer Ben’s tractor?

4) How did Farmer Ben feel when he realised the sheep were missing?

5) What do you think Farmer Ben could see at the end of the text?


Step 5 - Show what you know

We hope your child is feeling more confident with comprehension questions! If so, now is the perfect time for you to put their understanding to the test. Here are some activities which will help to consolidate their learning. We recommend doing them in this order so that the learning builds progressively. 

All activities are created by teachers and automatically marked. Plus, with an EdPlace subscription, we can automatically progress your child at a level that's right for them. Sending you progress reports along the way so you can track and measure progress, together - brilliant! 

Activity 1: Read and Understand: 'The Fox and the Crow'

Activity 2: Sequence Events

Activity 3: Read and Understand: 'The Fox and the Goat'

Activity 4: Read and Understand: 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf'

Activity 5: Read and Understand: 'The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs'



1) The sheep left the farm through the gap in the fence. Retrieval question

2) Farmer Ben realised the sheep were gone.
They hopped onto the tractor. 

Max started barking.

Sequencing question

3) Yellow, muddy and noisy. Vocabulary question

4) Any answer similar to ‘Farmer Ben felt…sad, worried, confused, upset. Do not accept the opposite – happy, excited etc as this does not make sense considering he then went to look for the sheep quickly! Inference question
5) Accept any answer that makes sense using the text, ‘He saw his sheep in a field’ or ‘he saw his sheep running away’ or ‘he saw an empty field’. Do not accept something that wouldn’t make sense with the story such as ‘he saw a shop’. Prediction question


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All English, maths and science from Year 1 - GCSE